Israel thwarts Hamas Chanukah abduction plot

Israeli security discovered a Hamas plan to abduct Israelis over the course of the Chanukah holiday. 

By: Aryeh Savir, World Israel News Staff

Israeli security forces were successful in thwarting a plot by a Hamas terror cell to abduct Israelis over the course of the Chanukah holiday.

The Shin Bet (Israel’s Security Agency) revealed Wednesday that it  exposed and has been tracking the cell over the course of the past two months. The plot was thwarted at its planning stages, after the cell had collected intelligence on their target area.

The terror cell, based out of the Palestinian village of Tel, near Shechem (Nablus) in Samaria, planned to pose as Israelis and kidnap an IDF soldier or Israeli civilian waiting for a ride.

The cell was led by Mouad Ashtiya, 26, who planned the attack, acquired the weapons, sought out possible hiding places for the abductees and recruited other cell members.

Mohamed Ramadan and Ahmed Ramadan, both 19, were cell members.

The group was in contact with Omar Asida, a Gaza-based Hamas financier entrusted with bankrolling Hamas’ operations in Judea and Samaria.

The Hamas leadership, operating out of Gaza, served as a guiding and financing element, the Shin Bet stressed, adding that the objective of the plot was to negotiate the release of terrorists held in Israeli prisons, the Shin Bet stated.

The Israeli forces were successful in seizing the weapons obtained by the cell, including a handgun, tear gas and a shocker. The terrorists had plans to acquire more weapons.

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The cell is now waiting to be indicted at a military court.